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Guide: How to change your PS4 hard drive + adding an external drive


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Tired of deleting games on your PlayStation 4 system for new titles? Or maybe it isn’t enough space on your drive to update to the latest version of Fortnite?
Well, there are a few things you can do to fix that, you can either upgrade your internal hard drive or simply add an external hard drive by using one of the USB ports. Sounds to technical for you? Let’s go through the steps on each suggestion.

First suggestion – Changing your internal hard drive

What you need:

  • 1x PS4 (Original, Slim or Pro)
  • 1x Phillips screwdriver
  • 1x 2.5-inch SATA HDD (Your new hard drive)
  • 1x USB stick (Preferred 8GB) or 1x USB External Drive
  • 1x PC or Laptop with internet (Wifi or Cable)
  • 1x PS4 controller (Dualshock 4)
  • 1x micro USB cable (Your Dualshock 4 charging cable)

Step one – Buy the replacement hard drive

This might sound easy, but there are a few things you need to be aware of. The standard PS4 hard drive contains a 500GB storage space with 5400rpm (Revolution Per Minute). That last number there with rpm means how well the hard drive can perform, higher number = faster loading speed. (The best ones is 7200rpm, but they tend to cost a lot).
If you really want to spend money on your little bad boy, a SSD is right up your ally. But you’ll need a lot of cash to do so, a SSD with the original storage space (500GB) tend to cost around 240€. Other details you’ll need to look forward to when buying a new internal hard drive, the PS4 uses a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive and the disc can’t be over 9.5mm tall.  And no, the warranty of your console still exists if you change your internal hard drive.

To sum things up – Your new internal drive needs to be:

  • A 2.5 SATA Hard drive
  • Can’t extend 9.5mm height
  • Recommend a 5400rpm HDD (or SSD)

I recommend one of these (Not sponsored by Amazon or Gamezone in any way)
From Amazon (International)
HGST Travelstar 1TB 7200rpm (approx 53€)
Seagate 1TB SSHD (approx 120€)

From Gamezone (Norway – Norwegian prices)
2TB Hard drive (999 kr)
2TB SSD Hard drive (1399 kr)

Step two – Back up

You finally decided which hard drive you want, and waiting for the order to arrive. You can prepare the exchange before your hard drive arrives, by backing up your PlayStation 4 files. Unfortunately you can’t back up game installs itself, but you can backup your game save files. If you are a PS Plus member then every game save file should be saved in the cloud automatically, but be sure that your settings is set with automatically uploading to the cloud. If not, just upload it to the cloud manually. You can also transfer your save files to a USB unit as well. Just insert the USB drive then follow the menu like this (same place to double check the auto upload)

Go to settings → application saved data management → saved data in system storage  

You’ll have to check every single title you want to copy manually, so make sure you check them all or maybe take the opportunity to create some more space on your new hard drive. You can also make sure that you have the latest PlayStation update or Software installation ready on a second USB drive. (We have our own guide on how to do this)

Step three – Locating the hard drive

Did you make a backup of your save files yet? Happy by leaving something behind or maybe you did go all the way copying everything? Satisfied? (If not go back to step two)
Okay then, first off make sure that you do not have any disc inside your PS4. Now that your Sisters of the Brotherhood XXX DvD is out of the way you can move forward to completely shutting your PS4 down properly.  

Power → Power options → Turn off PS4

Wait until everything stops to glow before doing anything else. Next, start unplugging (HDMI, Power Cable, network cable, Optic cable etc) unplug everything. When done, set your PS4 on a steady surface. Here comes the fun part, dismantling!

On the original PS4
You see that shiny top plate? Move that to the side a little. It’s a simple plastic cover that’s being held by a basic clip.

On the PS4 slim
Same here, open up the clip by hand. The clip can be located on the left hand corner at the rear of the console.

Techradar - PS4 Slim har drive location
Picture from Techradar

On the PS4 Pro
Place your console upside down on a flat surface, there you can locate a small plastic panel on its rear. Use the little tab beside the Ethernet port to open it up.

SixthAxis - PS4 Pro hard drive location
Picture from SixthAxis

Step four – Removing the old hard drive

Do not panic, it is suppose to look like that, all metalish. If you see at the top in the front of the console you’ll see the internal hard drive inside a caddy. On top you see a large screw with PlayStation button icons. It’s time to bring the out the electrination inside you! Unscrew this screw with your Phillips screwdriver and simply push the caddy out horizontally.
On the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro you’ll need to unscrew the single screw that holds the caddy.
“But inside the box of the new internal drive there wasn’t a metal frame around the drive?
That’s because we’re not done yet, use the same Phillips screwdriver to unscrew these small four screws around the internal drive. Make sure to lay down every screw on a safe place, you will need them later. Also make sure that those rubber bits stays on as well. Those absorbs any shocks to the HDD. Same process for the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro.

Step five – Replacing

This step is pretty easy, simply remove the old drive from the metal frame and add the new one in the same position. And then reverse the process. Every screw back to its places (The four small ones back on the side of the metal frame, and the big one with PlayStation icons to lock the caddy itself). If the hard drive doesn’t fit, are you sure you that you purchased a hard drive that wasn’t bigger than 9.5mm tall, 2.5 inch SATA drive?

Step six – Install new software

Now that you have connected your PS4 back to its place as it used be, you’ll notice that everything is blank. The console’s operative system is stored on the hard drive we just removed, and the new one doesn’t have this OS. You’ll need to put your USB drive with the latest update or installation software to your PS4 to proceed.
If you are uncertain on how to update or reinstall the operating system on your PS4, we have our own guide on how to do so right here.

Second suggestion – Adding an external drive

We also have a second suggestion to upgrade your storage problem. You can off course do both to really expand your PS4 storage. But that might be a bit expensive if you want to do all of this at once.
If you need to buy a new external drive, make sure that the drive has a USB 3.0 connection and isn’t above 8TB storage space. The PS4 accepts drives up to 8TB max.

What you need here is:

  • An external hard drive with USB 3.0 connection
  • PS4 (or PS4 Slim / PS4 Pro)

Your PS4 will only recognize one external storage drive at a time. Also have in mind that you have to use the USB port directly on your PS4 (two in front on the original, the PS4 Pro has a third port on the rear as well) otherwise it won’t work.

First step – connect your external drive to a USB port
Second step – Follow on screen instructions
(Third step) – If the on screen instructions doesn’t appear we’ll have to format our external drive manually.
(You might get a message that says that the USB device is not supported, that’s because the drive hasn’t been formatted yet)

How to format the drive
Settings → Devices → USB Storage Devices → Format as Extended Storage

That’s it, your external drive will now show up as Extended Storage and now the default location for any game you purchase or download from your PlayStation library.

Removing the external drive while powered on may corrupt or data losses may occur. If you want to disconnect the device make sure to do so properly.
Settings → Devices → USB Storage Devices → Stop Using This Extended Storage

Kim Haug
Kim Haug
Eier og daglig leder av Ulvespill Interessen min for spill er så stor at jeg bestemte meg for å starte opp egen spillnettside, why not? Har skrevet spillnyheter og anmeldelser siden 2011

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